Ride-sharing platform Ola has stepped up efforts to raise funds for its partner drivers who will be left unemployed by the lockdown imposed in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The app has started ‘Drive the Driver Fund’ initiative under which it will raise Rs 50 crore through crowdfunding to secure steady funds for the auto-rickshaw, cab, kaali-peeli and taxi drivers employed by Ola.
As part of the initiative, Ola will be donating Rs 20 crore for the fund. In fact, Ola CEO and co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal would forgo his salary for one year that would go towards the fund.
The move is expected to the 20-lakh strong global fleet associated with the ride-hailing service.
Millions of drivers & their families find themselves without an income today. To support them, we are launching the Drive the Driver’ fund. I’m contributing my next year salary and Ola along with employees will contribute 20 cr to the fund. https://t.co/bR561tZ7Es 1/2 pic.twitter.com/KUZiOxWaFl
— Bhavish Aggarwal (@bhash) March 27, 2020
“The crisis at this time has left thousands of drivers who form the backbone of shared mobility without an income. The Ola group has come together to contribute the initial capital for the fund, which can be used to provide immediate aid,” said Anand Subramanian, Spokesperson and Head of Communications, Ola told a news agency.
The initiative would focus on key areas such as emergency support and essential supplies, which are of utmost importance to drivers during these challenging times.
Drivers and their families would also have access to free medical consultation.
In due course, Ola Foundation will also take up initiatives to support drivers in areas such as aid for children’s education amongst others, said the company.
“We invite all the stakeholders of the mobility industry to join us in every way you can and support the people who move us in this difficult phase. We will be stronger together,” said Subramanian.
Last week, Ola announced a special Covid-19 insurance cover exclusive for its driver-partners and their spouses.
The company has also fully waived lease rentals, akin to an EMI, for driver-partners who operate vehicles owned by Ola’s subsidiary, Ola Fleet Technologies under its leasing programme.
The mobility industry has been brought to a grinding standstill during the 21-day lockdown, and the driver community has been finding it hard to pay for their family expenses without a source of income.
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